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dealing with everything, but want to deal better. HELP!
Aug 31, 2005

Hello! I was diagnosed a year and a half ago and went through the "normal" emotions that accompany such news. Inability to sleep, guilt, shame; you know, just the basics. I have had a pretty rough time this past year in dealing with severe anemia that has basically taken over my once VERY active life. I am trying to be objective in all of this and know in my mind that I can live with this disease but over the past several months I have not been my usual upbeat persevering kind of guy. The situation at work is that they "abide" by the law, (my supervisors know my status) but the lack of respect and understanding is wearing me down to a nervouse wreck. I know that I am depressed (probably more feeling sorry for myself) but I am getting to the point where I beg out of most social situations and pretty much am a stay at home guy now. I have a five year old son (I am a single dad) and we recently moved in with my mother as she is battling terminal cancer. She needs me and I consider it a priveledge to care for her because she has been a most excellent mother. My son is happy and well adjusted (for a five year old)I am still very much on the go as far as his life is concerned. I have just come to the point where it is all overwhelming me. I would prefer that the phone not ring and that people would just leave me alone. I know these feelings are not healthy and I also know that my situation at work is affecting my physical and mental health. I live in South Texas and there in not much here in regards to HIV sensitive therapists. I have tried anti-depressants and feel that my doctors just give them to me and then do nothing to monitor how they are affecting me. I am about to the point of applying for disability just so I don't have to deal with all of the crap and work and I can focus on getting well and raising my beautiful son. Sorry to ramble on but I am desperate!

Thank you, JME

Response from Dr. Horwath

I don't know what part of Texsas you are in, but I have visited an outstanding HIV Clinic in Houston, the Thomas Street Clinic. You might contact them for advice on what's available through their clinic or for a referal to other services in the south Texas area.

What you are describing is a true depression and you are in need of some treatment. I agree with you that only a prescription for antidepressant medicine is not enough. You should try to find a therapist who can help you with cognitive or supportive therapy. It usually works best when combined with an antidepressant. If you can find a good psychologist or psychiatrist to evaluate you, then you should be able to get a professional opinion as to whether medication is also indicated for you.

If you are truly overwhelmed, maybe a temporary medical leave from work would help you to seek treatment, get well, spend time with your family and recover. Perhaps you could return to work after a successful treatment. Best of luck to you.



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